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Dodgers Hand Sutton His Walking Papers and Call Up Martinez

August 11, 1988|SAM McMANIS | Times Staff Writer

"It was a nice emotional experience to re-sign and come back here," Sutton said. "The first time I put on the uniform and went out there was memorable.

"I will value my time here. It has always meant a lot to me to play with the Dodgers, in the tradition of great pitchers like (Sandy) Koufax and (Don) Drysdale. Number two, it was nice to be able to help the young and talented pitchers we have here. I'm going to miss them."

As Sutton cleaned out his locker before Wednesday's game, Claire announced Martinez's recall from Albuquerque.

Martinez, voted the top major league pitching prospect by Florida State League managers last season, had an 8-4 record with a 2.46 ERA for double-A San Antonio when he was promoted to Albuquerque in June. He pitched a shutout against Las Vegas in his most recent start.

Although Claire has tried to downplay the comparison, the promotion of Martinez is reminiscent of Fernando Valenzuela's emergence from the obscurity of double-A ball late in the 1980 season. Valenzuela, used as a reliever then, did not allow an earned run in 17 innings.

"It's not fair to compare anyone to Fernando, especially the way he started," Claire said. "But with Fernando and Ramon, you have two players who have an inner confidence that helps in a situation like this."

Even with Martinez's promotion, the Dodgers' pitching situation appears far from settled. Claire has said he has scouts looking at veteran pitchers, and Mario Soto may be ready to pitch before long. Also, Valenzuela, on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain, may be ready to return by September.

"With the people we have now, we'll go with the four-man rotation, then maybe Fernando or Soto can come back, and we'll slip them in there," pitching coach Ron Perranoski said.

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